Siella McCalls 8085

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I got this pattern free with Love Sewing magazine and was surprised to find it was intended for knit fabric, as the design looks like a woven. (In fact many sewists have sized up and made it in woven). The fabric it has been made up in for the cover photo immediately reminded me of some fabric in my stash bought recently at

which is a viscose jersey with 4% lycra

I sewed view B

The pattern instructions are for a simple folded over boat neckline with no facings or binding but others who have sewed this suggested it could be improved by adjusting the neckline to add a bias facing. I agreed with this suggestion as I was worried the weight of the dress would pull the neckline down and also the neckline looked a bit high and would benefit from being lower.

I made other adjustments to the front bodice which were to raise the shoulder by 1cm as I don’t have much of a shoulder slope, and raise the armpit by 1cm accordingly. I took 1 inch out of the bodice length and cut the side seams of the front bodice a size larger as a sort of rudimentary FBA, so overall I cut a size M but for the bodice side seams I went to L.

Here is my adjusted front bodice piece.

The dress looked quite long on the model so I took 2 inches off the main skirt piece and 1 inch off the ruffle and it still came up quite long on me.

Although not transparent, my fabric was quite thin so I cut 2 front bodice pieces exactly the same and sewed them wrong sides together as I have a RTW dress in similar fabric which is constructed like this. I then used the double layer as one piece, and this also helped to support the weight of the skirt better.

The pattern instructions suggest taping the shoulder seams and I taped the bodice side seams as well.

Construction was easy and straightforward, the skirt pieces are just rectangles, the trickiest part was the large areas of gathering and getting it even, which was needed time and patience.

The instructions suggested making an elastic casing from the seam allowances where the bodice attaches to the skirt but I was confused by this and missed it out. I already had extra bulk there due to by double layer bodice and the fabric is gathered and stretch anyway so didn’t understand the need for elastic. I can always add it later if the dress seems to need it.

When it came to binding the neckline I used normal home made cotton binding as a facing. I topstitched it down near the seam instead of under stitching (mistake) and then thought it would look awkward if I secured it with a second line of top stitching, so used one of my decorative stitches to secure the binding and am quite pleased with the result.

This dress has received many compliments. I am very pleased with it and would highly recommend this pattern. It’s easy, super comfy to wear, could be dressed up or down, has pockets, and is multi seasonal.

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